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Vassar owes more than an apology

Published: Monday, February 6, 2012

Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08

Being accepted into college is every teenager's dream. Once you get that letter, it's a feeling you never want to let go of. It signifies accomplishment and success and allows you to live out senior year without a worry. Students work hard to earn acceptance letters, and they should never be taken away, even if there is a "system error."

For most students, once they get into college, their next move is to either accept or decline their acceptance. However, 76 students weren't able to make this decision this past weekend, as they watched their acceptances slip away before their eyes.

Vassar College "accepted" 122 students for their early decision, but only 46 were actually accepted. Later that day, Vassar sent out an apology letter saying there was an error in the system and that the actual decisions were currently online.

Shame on you, Vassar! They took the best feeling in the whole world and threw it in the garbage. Vassar screwed up big time, and all they offered was an apology. Doesn't an error of that magnitude warrant more than an "I'm sorry?" Parents of the 76 students have requested refunds on application fees, and Vassar won't even give them that.

It's ridiculous that after a mistake of this magnitude, Vassar College officials find it reasonable to offer up an apology and nothing else.

Technically, Vassar is also breaking a legally binding contract. Early decision acceptance, for those who don't remember, is a binding agreement that students must uphold if accepted. Vassar accepted these 76 students, so the contract should still be binding, regardless of any "system error." Although no papers were signed, several students had already withdrawn from other colleges because of the binding contract.

Some sort of compensation should be provided to those students who worked so hard to get into the college of their choice. Vassar officials might be under the impression that their credibility hasn't been torched, but a screw-up like this leaves a stain.

Vassar officials should be punished for breaking a binding contract and should certainly be made to provide more than an apology. Those 76 students deserve that much.

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Mon Feb 6 2012 21:38
Vassar should have offered an apology in the first place. I don't think it is fabrication. The author did not base her opinion piece on the article you are talking about, she based it on the one she read, which came out two days earlier than the other article. I'm glad to know that Vassar changed their mind ( of course, only after all the bad press) about giving back the students their application fees. Thanks Lulu for this piece!
Mon Feb 6 2012 21:32
The initial article that was read had no mention of reimbursement. It says that an apology was given to all the students and that no further steps were in the process at the time. I'm pretty sure that the article was submitted before the next article came out. In addition, it's an opinion piece, so let the girl say what she wants to say. But thank you for pointing out that there was more than an apology. Next time, please post the link to the correct article.
Mon Feb 6 2012 13:08
There is a fabrication in this opinion piece. Vassar has actually entirely refunded the application fee and offered any further assistance for those students who were wrongly sent admissions notices. For a full, reputable article, see the New York Times.
Additionally, in legal terms, while the early decision is binding for the student, it is not technically binding for the school (however unfair that may be).

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